After a mastectomy, 4-flap breast reconstruction rebuilds natural-looking breasts using your tissues. This procedure also has the excellent advantage of restoring sensation in your new breasts. Board-certified plastic surgeon Anthony Echo, MD, holds two fellowships in microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery, giving him the exceptional skills needed to fully restore your breasts after a mastectomy. To learn more about your breast reconstruction options, call the office in Houston Methodist Hospital or the Willowbrook neighborhood of Houston, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
In this type of surgery, your breast is reconstructed by removing tissues from elsewhere on your body and transplanting them to your chest to rebuild your breast. The flap of tissue contains the skin and fat needed to restore your breast together with the nerves and blood vessels supplying the flap.
4-flap breast reconstruction is a surgical option for patients who want a completely autologous breast reconstruction using their own tissues, but do not have enough tissue from one donor site.
Often these patients will be told that their only option is an implant or a flap and implant. By moving tissue from the abdomen in the form of a DIEP flap and the inner thighs as a PAP flap, we are able to create a breast with a good shape and size using the patient’s own tissues. This leaves scars similar to that of a tummy tuck and thigh lift, respectively.
Dr. Echo performs the 4-flap breast reconstruction when women don’t want implants, but they also don’t have enough tissue for a flap reconstruction from just one body area. This can happen in women with no body fat to spare and in women who need to have both breasts reconstructed.
Women who previously had breast implant surgery and who develop implant complications can also have breast revision surgery using 4-flap breast reconstruction.
During 4-flap breast reconstruction, Dr. Echo makes an abdominal incision that’s similar to a tummy tuck and a thigh incision similar to a thigh lift. He removes four free tissue flaps and then transfers tissue from the abdomen and thighs to each breast to recreate two new breasts.
Dr. Echo connects the nerves and blood vessels from each flap with nerves and blood vessels in your chest. As a result, 4-flap breast reconstruction is an extensive and complex surgery that requires two skilled microsurgeons. Dr. Echo works with one of his partners to expedite the procedure.
Once the flaps are successfully transplanted, your new breasts look and feel completely natural, and there is a restoration of sensation as the nerves regenerate. Dr. Echo may recommend using Resensation® nerve repair, which is an innovative nerve graft that promotes regeneration between the flap and chest nerves.
If you have questions about your breast reconstruction or you would like to learn more about the quad flap procedure, call Anthony Echo, MD, or schedule an appointment online.